A quick check of his mouth and the vet (5 foot nothing and size zero) said that his infection was much better but she’d recommend another week of steroids just to make sure. ‘Another 40 euros just to make sure’, was my thought!
I then mentioned Shadow’s panting again (I’d mentioned it last week which made her look in his mouth) and she said she’d recommend a full set of blood tests. ‘How much’, I asked. ‘Oh – only 100 euros’ she said. At that point I made sure she saw his lead which is a well worn, bitten piece of leather held onto his collar by an old climbing carrabina, but it didn’t make any difference, it was still 100 euros.
I held Shadow as she stuck three needles into his legs and extracted syringes full of blood. He struggled a bit, snapped once or twice but eventually gave in as she took enough blood to start a doggy blood bank. ‘What happens now?’ I asked. ‘It’s sent off to Paris’ she replied. ‘You’ll have the results by Friday’.
‘Is there anything else’, I asked. ‘We could do a urine test’, she answered.
At that point I started taking down my trousers but she shouted, ‘No No – the urine test is for Shadow. Let’s take him outside and you get him to sniff around and stimulate him’, she said.
‘Stimulate him?’ ‘The only time Shadow is stimulated is when J comes back from Ed’s with a bag full of dinosaur bones’, I pointed out, but she insisted and so I walked Shadow around the grounds and she followed on her hands and knees with a beaker. Of course Shadow knew something wasn’t quite right and refused to urinate – he’s such a good dog. It was probably something to do with the huge one he’d done when I’d taken him out that morning after being locked in all night!
‘Ok – I’ll have to take it manually’, she said. At this point, I was wondering what a nurse in a hospital would do with a male patient. I was soon to find out.
Back on the table, she said I should hold him firmly and she proceeded to stick a two foot long wire up his ‘willy’. I couldn’t look but obviously Shadow didn’t like it – I mean his ‘willy’ has never been, well, used before. He was ‘done’ before he knew what it was for and so to have this sort of bodily invasion was anathema to him (or do I mean catheter ?)
Anyway, after several pokes and prods and a few snaps (what if I hadn’t been there holding him in a vice like grip ?) she said it was all done and gave me the bill. €165!
At this point I tried hard not to use a colloquialism (are you taking the p***) so I said, ‘are you extracting the urine’, to which she replied, ‘Oh, I forgot about that, thanks for reminding me – the bill is actually €205’!
Picture is of a traumatised Shadow back at home after his ordeal.